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Idling computers crack Nazi Enigma codes (Remaining unbroken codes below)
The Times (U.K.) ^ | Sam Knight

Posted on 03/02/2006 11:14:12 AM PST by nickcarraway

An amateur cryptologist's internet project is using idling computers to help crack three Nazi codes that eluded the Enigma codebreakers of the Second World War.

Launched in January, the project has already broken one of the three messages, from a U-Boat commander forced to dive during an attack on November 25, 1942. The computers of 2,500 strangers are now whirring away, trying to decode the remaining two. You can volunteer your computer here.

Stefan Krah, a German-born cryptologist from Utrecht, in the Netherlands, started the network in January after writing a programme that combined the brute force of connected computers with a mathematical formula based on previous codebreaking work.

He offered the software to readers of two online bulletin boards with the words: "Clearly the project is from the 'Because we can' department. Is it realistic to hope that anywhere between 10-100 people would take part?"

Today Mr Krah said was amazed by "the exponential growth of participants".

"I was the only participant when it all started on January 9. About five people joined and participated regularly after I announced it on the lfs-chat mailing list," he wrote in an e-mail.

Together the computers are now marching through the 150 million million million permutations of each letter that made the Engima, which was used to direct devastating U-Boat attacks against Allied shipping in the Atlantic, the most feared encoding machine of the war.

So confident were Nazi commanders in the Engima that even when its messages were clearly being decoded by mathematicians at Bletchley Park, Britain's secret codebreaking base in Buckinghamshire, they refused to believe that the machine itself had been compromised, instead thinking spies were tipping off the Allies about the location of U-Boats in the Atlantic.

The first success of Mr Krah's "M4" project, named in honour of the final, upgraded Enigma that managed to perplex Alan Turing, the brilliant British logician credited with the breaking of the code, came on February 20.

From the scramble of 196 letters, passed 63 years ago through the Enigma's four decoding rotors, came the message:

"Forced to submerge during attack, depth charges. Last enemy location 08:30h, Marqu AJ 9863, 220 degrees, 8 nautical miles, (I am) following (the enemy). (Barometer) falls (by) 14 Millibar, NNO 4, visibility 10."

The location of the sender and a check of existing records showed that the message was sent by Kapitänleutnant Hartwig Looks of U264, a German submarine that was eventually sunk in the North Atlantic in February 1944 by depth charges from the British sloops HMS Woodpecker and HMS Starling.

Mr Krah said today that the first message was deciphered by just 45 machines. The failure, so far, of the combined power of thousands of hardrives has raised the question of whether the last two will ever be cracked.

"Of course there is no guarantee that another break will occur at all, there is simply a fair chance," he said.

The two messages facing Mr Krah and his allies were first published in Cryptologia, an academic journal, in 1995 by Ralph Erskine, a naval historian from Belfast. The codes were among the thousands that sat, unbreakable, for ten months during 1942 as the Allies struggled to catch up with the M4 upgrade of the Enigma.

Unbreakable? The remaining messages:

HCEY ZTCS OPUP PZDI UQRD LWXX FACT TJMB HDVC JJMM ZRPY IKHZ AWGL YXWT MJPQ UEFS ZBCT VRLA LZXW VXTS LFFF AUDQ FBWR RYAP SBOW JMKL DUYU PFUQ DOWV HAHC DWAU ARSW TKCF VOYF PUFH VZFD GGPO OVGR MBPX XZCA NKMO NFHX PCKH JZBU MXJW XKAU OD?Z UCVC XPFT

TMKF NWZX FFII YXUT IHWM DHXI FZEQ VKDV MQSW BQND YOZF TIWM JHXH YRPA CZUG RREM VPAN WXGT KTHN RLVH KZPG MNMV SECV CKHO INPL HHPV PXKM BHOK CCPD PEVX VVHO ZZQB IYIE OUSE ZNHJ KWHY DAGT XDJD JKJP KCSD SUZT QCXJ DVLP AMGQ KKSH PHVK SVPC BUWZ FIZP FUUP


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: code; cryptography; nazi; wwii
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Come on Freepers, this would really put FR on the map:

HCEY ZTCS OPUP PZDI UQRD LWXX FACT TJMB HDVC JJMM ZRPY IKHZ AWGL YXWT MJPQ UEFS ZBCT VRLA LZXW VXTS LFFF AUDQ FBWR RYAP SBOW JMKL DUYU PFUQ DOWV HAHC DWAU ARSW TKCF VOYF PUFH VZFD GGPO OVGR MBPX XZCA NKMO NFHX PCKH JZBU MXJW XKAU OD?Z UCVC XPFT

TMKF NWZX FFII YXUT IHWM DHXI FZEQ VKDV MQSW BQND YOZF TIWM JHXH YRPA CZUG RREM VPAN WXGT KTHN RLVH KZPG MNMV SECV CKHO INPL HHPV PXKM BHOK CCPD PEVX VVHO ZZQB IYIE OUSE ZNHJ KWHY DAGT XDJD JKJP KCSD SUZT QCXJ DVLP AMGQ KKSH PHVK SVPC BUWZ FIZP FUUP

1 posted on 03/02/2006 11:14:13 AM PST by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Actually, I've solved this...

"Be sure to drink your Ovaltine"

Now, have you got any math problems laying around?


2 posted on 03/02/2006 11:17:02 AM PST by IncPen (Torture should be safe, legal, and rare.)
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To: nickcarraway

My grandfather worked on those codes. He died when computers were room-sized pocket calculators. I wonder what he'd think of all this.

Mrs VS


3 posted on 03/02/2006 11:17:38 AM PST by VeritatisSplendor
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To: nickcarraway

The Martian Invasion Shall Commence on March 3, 2006.


4 posted on 03/02/2006 11:18:05 AM PST by iPod Shuffle
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To: nickcarraway
The first breaks out to: "Dan, we have the National Guard documents you wanted, but they only prove he is telling truth. Should we alter them?"

The 2nd says, 'If the girl decides to go public with the affair, I could be impeached. Worse yet, H will find out. Can we arrange an accident?"

5 posted on 03/02/2006 11:18:59 AM PST by theDentist (Qwerty ergo typo : I type, therefore I misspelll.)
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To: nickcarraway

"DUYU"

DU is mentioned!


6 posted on 03/02/2006 11:19:00 AM PST by Hoodlum91 (pcottraux says I'm special!)
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To: nickcarraway
HCEY ZTCS OPUP PZDI UQRD LWXX FACT TJMB HDVC JJMM ZRPY IKHZ AWGL YXWT MJPQ UEFS ZBCT VRLA LZXW VXTS LFFF AUDQ FBWR RYAP SBOW JMKL DUYU PFUQ DOWV HAHC DWAU ARSW TKCF VOYF PUFH VZFD GGPO OVGR MBPX XZCA NKMO NFHX PCKH JZBU MXJW XKAU OD?Z UCVC XPFT

Piece of cake.

DEAR DANR STOP BUSH TANG MEMO REAL STOP 2004 VOTE OURS STOP LOVE KISS MARY

7 posted on 03/02/2006 11:19:57 AM PST by dirtboy (I'm fat, I sleep most of the winter and I saw my shadow yesterday. Does that make me a groundhog?)
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To: nickcarraway

The first one says

ALL YOUR BASES ARE BELONG TO US NOW. OUR BEEBERS HAVE NO STUNNE SETTING. DO YOU LIKE CHEESE? WE LIKE CHEESE VERY MUCH.


8 posted on 03/02/2006 11:20:33 AM PST by cripplecreek (Never a minigun handy when you need one.)
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To: VeritatisSplendor
He died when computers were room-sized pocket calculators.

Um... I've never seen a room-sized pocket before.

9 posted on 03/02/2006 11:21:12 AM PST by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: nickcarraway
It says:

Goering is a pig. Send more beer!.........

10 posted on 03/02/2006 11:21:43 AM PST by Red Badger (And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him...)
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To: Izzy Dunne

You know very well what I mean. I hope.

Mrs VS


11 posted on 03/02/2006 11:22:10 AM PST by VeritatisSplendor
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To: nickcarraway

"John has a long moustache."


12 posted on 03/02/2006 11:22:54 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: IncPen

HAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!


Beat me to it!


13 posted on 03/02/2006 11:24:12 AM PST by WakeUpAndVote (Member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy since 1992!)
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To: IncPen

a lousy, stinking commercial??


14 posted on 03/02/2006 11:25:41 AM PST by babble-on
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To: nickcarraway

"I much fear trouble in the fuselage, Fredrick!"


15 posted on 03/02/2006 11:25:50 AM PST by LIConFem (A fronte praecipitium, a tergo lupi.)
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To: babble-on

Ve are here to un pimp jour auto.


16 posted on 03/02/2006 11:26:51 AM PST by cripplecreek (Never a minigun handy when you need one.)
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To: nickcarraway

Klatu berata nictu.


17 posted on 03/02/2006 11:39:56 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Islam Factoid:After forcing young girls to watch his men execute their fathers, Muhammad raped them.)
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To: nickcarraway
the combined power of thousands of hardrives

Harddrives have power?

18 posted on 03/02/2006 11:46:38 AM PST by Jeff Chandler (Peace Begins in the Womb)
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To: nickcarraway

I hope everyone is up on their German.

I know I'm not.


19 posted on 03/02/2006 11:48:45 AM PST by Bigh4u2 (Denial is the first requirement to be a liberal)
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To: cripplecreek

WHAT YOU SAY?!?!


20 posted on 03/02/2006 11:51:39 AM PST by will180 (Your mom goes to college)
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To: Bigh4u2

all I know is Mein Gott lol


21 posted on 03/02/2006 11:54:40 AM PST by Paul_Denton (Every single troll is now an enemy of the Republic!)
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To: nickcarraway

I make that out to say:

"My Hovercraft is full of eels."


22 posted on 03/02/2006 11:59:53 AM PST by GaltMeister (“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”)
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To: nickcarraway

These are actually secret prophecies.... their gist is that the future of the Nazi dream lies in the Muslim world and that Hitler should lend all resources and support to Arab/Muslim dictators while he still can.......


23 posted on 03/02/2006 12:01:50 PM PST by Enchante (Democrats: "We are ALL broken and worn out, our party & ideas, what else is new?")
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To: GaltMeister

I just translated it...it reads:

"Wenn ist das Nunstruck git und Slotermeyer? Ja!...
Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput!"


24 posted on 03/02/2006 12:05:51 PM PST by Strategerist
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To: LIConFem

Now there's an obscure Odd Couple reference.


25 posted on 03/02/2006 12:06:03 PM PST by massgopguy (massgopguy)
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To: nickcarraway

"HCEY ZTCS OPUP PZDI UQRD LWXX FACT TJMB HDVC JJMM ZRPY IKHZ AWGL YXWT MJPQ UEFS ZBCT VRLA LZXW VXTS LFFF AUDQ FBWR RYAP SBOW JMKL DUYU PFUQ DOWV HAHC DWAU ARSW TKCF VOYF PUFH VZFD GGPO OVGR MBPX XZCA NKMO NFHX PCKH JZBU MXJW XKAU OD?Z UCVC XPFT"

Gore/Lieberman in 2000.


26 posted on 03/02/2006 12:06:16 PM PST by EQAndyBuzz
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To: nickcarraway

"OUTER HULL GIVING WAY,(Our)POSIT (at)08:30h, TENGU TJ 4253, 150 degrees, 12 nautical miles, REPAIRS NOT HOLDING. BUSH'S FAULT. END"


27 posted on 03/02/2006 12:06:37 PM PST by RedQuill
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To: nickcarraway
Eureka! I've got it.
.... -.-. . -.-- / --.. - -.-. ... / --- .--. ..- .--. / .--. --.. -.. .. / ..- --.- .-. -.. / .-.. .-- -..- -..- / ..-. .- -.-. - / - .--- -- -... / .... -.. ...- -.-. / .--- .--- -- -- / --.. .-. .--. -.-- / -..-. / .. -.- .... --.. / -..-. / .- .-- --. .-.. / -..-. / -.-- -..- .-- - / -..-. / -- .--- .--. --.- / -..-. / ..- . ..-. ... / -..-. / --.. -... -.-. - / -..-. / ...- .-. .-.. .- / -..-. / .-.. --.. -..- .-- / -..-. / ...- -..- - ... / -..-. / .-.. ..-. ..-. ..-. / -..-. / .- ..- -.. --.- / -..-. / ..-. -... .-- .-. / -..-. / .-. -.-- .- .--. / -..-. / ... -... --- .-- / -..-. / .--- -- -.- .-.. / -..-. / -.. ..- -.-- ..- / -..-. / .--. ..-. ..- --.- / -..-. / -.. --- .-- ...- / -..-. / .... .- .... -.-. / -..-. / -.. .-- .- ..- / -..-. / .- .-. ... .-- / -..-. / - -.- -.-. ..-. / -..-. / ...- --- -.-- ..-. / -..-. / .--. ..- ..-. .... / -..-. / ...- --.. ..-. -.. / -..-. / --. --. .--. --- / -..-. / --- ...- --. .-. / -..-. / -- -... .--. -..- / -..-. / -..- --.. -.-. .- / -..-. / -. -.- -- --- / -..-. / -. ..-. .... -..- / -..-. / .--. -.-. -.- .... / -..-. / .--- --.. -... ..- / -..-. / -- -..- .--- .-- / -..-. / -..- -.- .- ..- / -..-. / --- -.. ..--.. --.. / -..-. / ..- -.-. ...- -.-. / -..-. / -..- .--. ..-. -
Of course that's only the 1st half - be back after lunch.

(uh.. isn't it a little late to be cracking German codes? After all, we know who won.)

28 posted on 03/02/2006 12:10:17 PM PST by Condor51 (Better to fight for something than live for nothing - Gen. George S. Patton)
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To: IncPen; dfwgator

Second Christmas Story reference today. Conspiracy!


29 posted on 03/02/2006 12:11:23 PM PST by stainlessbanner (I miss Mayberry)
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To: nickcarraway; All

Fascinating post.

The breaking of Enigma was a huge success that likely shortened WWII by at least a year or two.

I'd like to see our computers attempt to decipher the remaining Venona transcripts - if they're capable of doing it.

The vast majority of Venona transcripts were never broken or only partially broken. It would be interesting to see the level of Soviet infiltration (of the US) during WWII and shortly after.

I think it would be much worse than we know.


30 posted on 03/02/2006 12:13:01 PM PST by MplsSteve
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To: nickcarraway
The fact it takes so much modern computing power to break these underscores just how brilliant the Bletchely team was, with their very primitive technology. What an amazing group!
31 posted on 03/02/2006 12:15:45 PM PST by colorado tanker (We need more "chicken-bleep Democrats" in the Senate!)
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To: nickcarraway

Okay, I'm done, here it is. :)

Zwei drei vier one two three
Its easy to see
But its not that I don't care so
Cause I hear it all the time
But they never let you know
On the TV and the radio
She was young her heart was pure
But every night is bright she got
She said sugar is sweet
She come rappin' to the beat
Then I knew that she was hot

She was singin
Don't turn around, oh oh
Der Kommissar's in town, oh oh
You're in his eye
And you'll know why
The more you live
The faster you will die

Alles klar, Herr Kommissar?

She said babe you know
I miss Jill and Joe
And all my funky friends
But my street understanding
was just enough to know what she really meant
And I got to thinking while she was talking
That I know she told the story
Of those special places that she goes
When she rides with the others in the subway

Singin'
Don't turn around, oh oh
Der Kommissar's in town, oh oh
And if he talks to you
And you don't know why
You say your life
Is gonna make you die...

Alles klar, Herr Kommissar?

Well we meet Jill and Joe
And brother Herr
And the whole cool gang (and oh)
They're rappin' here they're rappin' there
But she's climbin' on the wall
Its a clear case, Herr Kommissar
Cause all the children know
They're all slidin' down into the valley
They're all slipping on the same snow

Hear the children
Don't turn around, oh oh
Der Kommissar's in town, oh oh
He's got the power
And you're so weak
And you're frustration will not let you speak

Don't turn around, oh oh
Der Kommissar's in town, oh oh
And if he talks to you
Then you'll know why
The more you live
The faster you will die

Don't turn around, oh oh
Der Kommissar's in town, oh oh
(repeat)


32 posted on 03/02/2006 12:19:03 PM PST by TheForceOfOne (Memogate - Dan Rathers Little Big Horn.)
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To: dfwgator

"John has a long moustache."

I see someone is a Longest Day fan ;)


33 posted on 03/02/2006 12:22:38 PM PST by Leatherneck_MT (An honest man can feel no pleasure in the exercise of power over his fellow citizens.)
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To: Strategerist

LOL -
"My dog has no nose!"
"How does he smell?"
"Awful!"

.


34 posted on 03/02/2006 12:26:07 PM PST by GaltMeister (“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”)
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To: Leatherneck_MT

blessent mon coeur d'un langueur monotone


35 posted on 03/02/2006 12:28:16 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: dfwgator
"The chair is against the wall."

The longest Day?

I thought it was Red Dawn.

36 posted on 03/02/2006 12:34:47 PM PST by Bear_Slayer (When liberty is outlawed only outlaws will have liberty)
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To: Bear_Slayer

No it was The Longest Day, it those really were the codes the BBC used to signal the Resistance that the invasion was imminent.


37 posted on 03/02/2006 12:35:57 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: dfwgator
I trust you are correct, but I distinctly remember the Red Dawn teenagers, listening to Radi Free America and the two phrase were used:

John has a long moustache

The chair is against the wall.

38 posted on 03/02/2006 12:39:51 PM PST by Bear_Slayer (When liberty is outlawed only outlaws will have liberty)
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To: Bear_Slayer

No doubt they knew that because they had watched The Longest Day.


39 posted on 03/02/2006 12:41:25 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: GaltMeister

40 posted on 03/02/2006 12:46:06 PM PST by evets (God bless president Bush!)
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To: nickcarraway
a German submarine that was eventually sunk in the North Atlantic in February 1944 by depth charges from the British sloops HMS Woodpecker and HMS Starling.

That had to be embarrassing.

41 posted on 03/02/2006 12:50:47 PM PST by OSHA (Liberal Utopia: When they shoot people going over the wall.)
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To: nickcarraway

It's obviously the German version of the funniest joke ever told - "Two peanuts were walking down the street. And one of them was a-salted"


42 posted on 03/02/2006 12:58:23 PM PST by SengirV
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To: Strategerist

Well, I hope you're happy. I just read partway through that joke and got a little sick. I might have died, but, fortunately, it wasn't all that funny.


43 posted on 03/02/2006 1:03:31 PM PST by ShasheMac
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To: nickcarraway
This is awesome. I'm going to lend my computer to this in its idle processing time.

I wouldn't be too surprised though if these last two messages were just gibberish fakes thrown out to deliberately confuse the Allies in the case of interception. But you never know!

44 posted on 03/02/2006 1:09:45 PM PST by jpl ("We don't negotiate with terrorists, we put them out of business." - Scott McClellan)
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To: colorado tanker

I agree. Amazingly, it was the Poles who came up with some of the initial breaks in Enigma.

Have you ever visited the NSA's web site? There are some interesting (and long) articles about Enigma and how it was broken. Click on this link:

http://www.nsa.gov/history/histo00007.cfm

Warning: Reading "The Cryptographic Mathematics of Enigma" will make you insane or your head explode!


45 posted on 03/02/2006 1:09:51 PM PST by MplsSteve
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To: MplsSteve
I haven't seen the NSA article, but have read Codebreakers - a good read.

IMHO the Poles have never gotten enough credit for getting their hands on the first machine.

I got to see an original Enigma in the Imperial War Museum, a way cool place.

46 posted on 03/02/2006 1:27:41 PM PST by colorado tanker (We need more "chicken-bleep Democrats" in the Senate!)
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To: jpl

This is pretty cool. I'd do it, too, if I weren't already folding proteins with my computers. If any of you are interested, please check out the FR folding threads after the code is broken. You can put your computers to work finding cures for Alzheimer's, cancer, and other diseases. Thanks.


47 posted on 03/02/2006 1:28:15 PM PST by generally (Ask me about FReepers Folding@Home)
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To: colorado tanker

I'll bet the Imperial War Museum is incredible!

I saw an Enigma once. Back in 1989, the Smithsonian's Museum of American History had one on display. I was told that it was the first time since WWII ended that one was put on public display.

Interesting.


48 posted on 03/02/2006 1:31:00 PM PST by MplsSteve
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To: MplsSteve

If you get to London, be sure to see the IWM annex, Churchill's WWII secret bunker under the Public Works department. It's been opened to the public and is fascinating as well.


49 posted on 03/02/2006 1:36:39 PM PST by colorado tanker (We need more "chicken-bleep Democrats" in the Senate!)
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To: SengirV
It's obviously the German version of the funniest joke ever told - "Two peanuts were walking down the street. And one of them was a-salted"

"We'll let you know." * BANG *

50 posted on 03/02/2006 1:37:45 PM PST by dfwgator
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